Provincial Custody of Our Lady of Coromoto in Venezuela
Mother Province: Province of St. Nicholas and St. Angelo in Italy (Puglia)
The beginning of the Conventual Franciscan experience in Venezuela dates back to 1978, when the Province of Puglia responded to a request for help from the Most Reverend Ángel Adolfo POLACHINI, then Bishop of Guanare, Venezuela. Thus, on November 28, 1978, the first community was established, composed of Friars Francisco CALDERONI (Guardian), Pedro BUONAMASSA and Giovanni PENTIMONE. These three missionaries arrived together with their Minister Provincial, Friar Germano MOLITERNI. The city of Guanare was chosen because of the shortage of priests there and because it was the home of the National Marian Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Coromoto.
Today, the Jurisdiction has thirty-two solemnly professed friars, seven simply professed friars, two novices, fifteen postulants, and six friaries. A seventh friary is planned.
Guanare: San José Obrero Friary and three parishes
On April 15, 1979, the first friary of the Custody was erected in Guanare, the spiritual capital of Venezuela. At that time, the friars were entrusted with the pastoral care of three parishes: San José Obrero in Guanare, San Pedro in the village of Papelon and Nuestra Señora de la Paz in the town of Guanarito. Currently, the friars only have the pastoral care of the San José Obrero Parish.
Palmira: San José de Cupertino Friary and Seminary
On September 18, 1990, the San José de Cupertino Friary and Seminary, the second friary of the Custody, was erected in the Diocese of San Cristóbal, State of Táchira. The friars here carry out vocational and pastoral ministry and provide formation to postulants and post-novices. The seminary is the heart of the Conventual Franciscan presence in Venezuela.
Caracas: San Francisco Javier Friary and Parish
On October 4, 2001, the San Francisco Javier Friary, the third friary of the Custody, was erected in the Archdiocese of Caracas, in the Pastora-Barrio de Lídice Parish. In addition to performing pastoral ministry in the parish, the friars here also run a parochial elementary school.
Pueblo Llano: Santísima Trinidad Friary and Parish
On October 4, 2002, the Santísima Trinidad Friary, the fourth friary of the Custody, was erected in the Archdiocese of Mérida, in the municipality of Pueblo Llano. The next year, the friary was inaugurated as a novitiate house. In 2011, due to the situation in the country, this stage of formation had to be suspended. In 2021, the novitiate was reopened for one year due to the pandemic. The friars here currently carry out pastoral activities and lead several parish and Franciscan groups.
Barinas: Beata Virgen María Auxiliadora Friary and Parish
On September 22, 2007, the María Auxiliadora Friary, the fifth friary of the Custody, was erected in the Diocese of Barinas. The friars recently opened the María Auxiliadora Health Care Center (CASMA) here where they assist many people on a daily basis. The friars provide pastoral service to the parish community, to the Secular Franciscans and to the Franciscan Youth Movement. They also offer spiritual assistance to the Militia of the Immaculata.
Mérida: San Antonio de Padua Friary
On September 27, 2021, this friary was opened as a post-novitiate formation house. The Discalced Carmelites freely loaned the property to the friars for ten years. The friars here conduct pastoral activities in the surrounding area and assist the Discalced Carmelites.
San Antonio del Táchira: In July of 2023, the Custodial Chapter decided to open a friary in the El Palotal sector of this town bordering Colombia. The friars here are in charge of the ByNode Project and provide pastoral care in the border area.
Franciscan Missionary Center
General Secretariat for Mission Animation